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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  December 16, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm PST

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. it is this issue, spending. >> this week on "inside washington," more fiscal cliff notes. susan rice takes her name off the board. >> i did not want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting, very destructive. >> what do you think will happen to assad? >> killed. >> michigan, the home of the united auto workers, now a right to work state. >> and they have been guarding the governor's office all day. >> the supreme court will tackle a marria -- gay marriage. >> it is about time. captioned by the national captioning institute
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>> if we make it through december, everything will be all right. i would sing that for you, but i don't wish to offend merle haggard. feels like the coldest time of winter on capitol hill. >> there has not been any progress. >> the president and his allies have taken so many things off the table the only thing left is varnish. >> charles, are we going off the cliff? >> look, it is almost impossible to predict. the republicans are in such disarray that they may take on december 30. if they don't, we are, because the president feels so confident that the white house is so cocky after the victory and had election day and the upper hand. he has not offered much.
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in the absence of any movement on his side, to do something serious, instead of a fig leaf on spending and entitlements, republicans will be reluctant to give him what he wants. we could go over the cliff, but you could have a cave on the last day. >> evan, according to the nbc news poll, a majority of republicans for the rest time what their leaders to compromise. will they? >> doesn't look like it right now. one of the problems is that it is not a fiscal cliff, it is a fiscal slope. it really is not a hard deadline. my guess is that it will slide into january andin some kind of inchoate fashion. >> nina, welcome back to groundhog day. are we headed towards armageddon?
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>> probably not are getting, because charles is right, they have such a weekend. in the end there will have to be a compromise. i think that deadlines make people focus the mind. boehner has told people not to plan anything in that week before christmas and new year's, and i sort of expect there will be a movement. >> mark, could you give us. on the politics? >> i will. let me be the discordant note. the republicans, as my colleagues point out, absolutely have a terrible hand. 30% favorable, 45% unfavorable. when asked to say a single word or phrase about either party, 65% give a negative word about republicans -- small, petty, and
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hencintransigent, whatever. the hand is weak. here is the problem for the administration -- if they come out with the victory and take a victory lap and to an end zone dance and rub it in, it is going to do and the chances of doing anything for the next two to four years. i think republicans have now accepted that the rates are going to go up. john boehner has problems there. i just wonder and hope that there is a sensitivity in the white house. >> mark has stumbled on the truth. [laughter] >> any way you get there is great. >> i would say "staggered." absolutely right, the president
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feels so strong that he has offered nothing. john boehner cannot go back and say to raise rates. he has offered to raise revenues through loopholes. but the president has taken this very arrogant, hard-line, and you have the leadership in the congress saying that we will not do anything on medicare, with a cost-of-living adjustment, we will not do anything on any entitlement. without that, boehner would have to say no and then we go over the cliff. >> more people in that poll gave negative descriptions of the democrats than positive. if that this fails, democrats don't get a free ride, either. >> i think this has been an unbelievable failure of leadership by the president. you have got to raise taxes and
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cut entitlements, but the president has completely taken a pass on his role of getting the public ready for how serious this is. >> i have been reading the caro book about johnson. >> great, isn't it? >> it is in some ways the most interesting of the books. he understood that you have to make your opponents look good. otherwise, they don't want to go along with you. he has to get some allies on the republican side so that everybody comes out looking good, not bad. >> there has been some wobbling. >> the unity has been on the part of the democrats. that is one of the reasons john boehner wants to get people out of town, so they are not talking to the press. the most interesting number as far as the fiscal situation in that "wall street journal" poll was the 61% of republicans are
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willing to set higher tax rates if it means avoiding the fiscal cliff. at billy does strengthen the president's had even more. >> is boehner's job in trouble? >> i don't think so, but you cannot tell with that caucus. >> why wouldn't republicans and markets -- republicans and democrats not look at this as an opportunity to do something people would appreciate? >> because the ground was not later the public does not realize how serious this is, because obama did a poor job of telling them as president of united states. all republicans seem to be doing is defending rich people. the ground has not been allayed. maybe out of this chaos will emerge understanding, but the fights over the charitable deductions -- all these charitable institutions are rising up and saying you cannot touch that somebody has got to stand up and say that everybody
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has to have the skin in this game. rich people, poor people, middle class -- everybody has got to be in. >> even the relatively painless things -- means testing, medicare -- maybe to propose rules to mean testing -- maybe the proposed rules to mean testing -- most of us pay a $20 copay if you go under medicare. that is not enough for people like us. >> mike allen and it jim vandehei wrote a fascinating piece and a politico about this. "the politicians with good jobs and in this town would agree in private at sure, there is a way to do this -- tax reform, entitlement reform." why don't they do it? >> let's give credit to the people who had something on the line and voted for something as tough as of scandals and alan
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simpson's plan, and that would include -- as erskine bowles and alan simpson's plan, and that would include big durbin, tom coburn, mike crapo from wyoming. there are a handful of people who did. what you are confronted with right now is the reality that not since 1990 has any republican and a house or this and -- the house or the senate voted for any tax increase. what they are terrified of is a primary challenge. they have all of these bedwetters and nervous nellies in the caucus who are terrified they will be primary if they vote to increase the taxes of donald trump by a dime. >> when you listen to mark, you think this is a republic governed by the house of representatives. aptly, we have a president.
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as evan indicated, a heat south peddled it, as not shown leadership? he has done nothing. >> he has done nothing -- >> he appoints a debt commission and then he ignores it. he has never proposed in public ever a single serious change in entitlements. he knows exactly what all of this note, that it has to be done. the republicans responded to the election the day after by offering to change that 20 years to raise revenues, even now they are hovering and they're prepared to raise rates, which was the third rail. in return, what do they get from the president? zero. no spending cuts and aware of any importance. >> i don't think any one of
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these guys has been publicly serious but the republic of france and to close loopholes in unspecified -- the republican offer is to close loopholes in unspecified ways. they need to get in a room and not leave. >> let's get blood if we're talking about people who stood up on this thing cou. the man who charles wants to put on hold the cards, paul ryan, cave like at $2 suitcase on in this. what about hensarling? >> it is the job of the president above all on this -- . >> the president has not lead on this, put the tax bills began in the house -- >> ryan offered a plan, the president offered nothing. >> she will be one of the top members of my national security team. >> john kerry says he will have
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no comment on the secretary of state process. he wants to be the next secretary of state. >> he probably will be the next secretary of state, and a fairly decent one. but this makes me kind of sad. >> this is a nice thing? riceon't know -- the susan thing? >> i don't know if she would have made a great secretary of state. some people say her elbows are too sharp. but i know her a little bit the benghazi thing she was hung out to dry on was the only thing the republicans had after the election to wave the red flag. i don't think it amounted to a hill of beans take it was no different from condoleezza rice, who had been involved in all kinds of things after 9/11 -- >> she could have survived benghazi if she did not have such sharp elbows.
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>> i don't think republicans wanted to be calmed down about this. it was washington and its worst, not its best. >> charles, score one for john mccain and instagram. -- the lindsey graham. >> the issue is not susan rice. the issue is that the administration understood that benghazi is a multiple scandal could why was there no security? no one was answered -- no one has answered that. and all these contradictory stories about the video after everybody knew there or is not a video. there are three scandals here. for the administration, they were lucky because the press is not interested in this. the only thing that would have revived the store and kept the scandal going would have been at had she had hearings. she would have had to give her story, the one she gave on the
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talk shows. obviously, it was false from 8 i -- from a to z, and diverted or deliberate. -- entered into or deliberate. the benghazi story would have lived. if she is not the nominee, the story would go away, and they do not want to be dogged by this scandal for months and months, and it would have started with confirmation hearings. >> she was a good soldier. she did sunday shows -- >> that will teach her. >> she stepped up and did them, and she did that with the distilled information, the position of the administration d. this is the first defeat since november 6 for barack obama. emboldens republicans. finally, one thing -- what is missing in this whole drama is
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any counteroffensive on her behalf. the administration mounted one. she was exposed to the negatives from republicans -- >> obama was for her but the president does not have any friends. the president of the united states does not have the political capital -- >> he should be able to orchestrate support. >> that says something about his weakness. assad, even the russians are bailing on him. >> when the russians are building on you, that is the canary in the coal mine. they have been a tremendous ally for half a century. they have a naval facility in syria, and they will lose if they lose him.
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the deputy foreign minister said that it is a dark future and their thinking of evaluating russians who live in syria. the thing is that everybody can see that the rebels are gaining and holding their ground. the worst thing i've read is the russians think -- it imports into four countries, because it is so ethnically rifted -- the somalia and the yugoslavia of the middle east, and that would be a catastrophe. >> be careful what you wish for? >> yeah. the group that has been the most organized militarily has been allocated in the middle east -- al qaeda in the middle east. it will be the most powerful
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people if they fall -- >> that would be a failure of our policy. >> who gets the sarin gas? al qaeda. >> michigan is now the right to work state. >> this will attract more businesses to michigan. those businesses will need space. >> the owner of a michigan construction co., preceded by a union member who works at a general motors plant. michigan gov. rick sanders signed legislation -- rick snyder right to work legislation into law. the president said that what they're talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. a right to work at state, michigan? >> it is incredible. the republican legislature has passed this.
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there are two institutions that greeted the middle class in america with of the 10 states with the highest per capita income, although one is a non- right to work state. the 10 states with the highest medical coverage for the workers, eight of the 10 are not right to work states. where workers have the right to organize and unions, and those can be effective marketing, it raises the level of living for all americans. that, frankly, the fastest- growing states -- three of the 20 are right to work states. that puts that to rest. it is a chance to destroy unions, undermined unions, or hurt them politically.
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no accidents, the " brother -- koch brothers finance to this. >> it worked great when the united states was number one. trade unions did, as mark said, create a middle class. the problem is international competition. once in china and japan and all these countries start making stuff cheaper, it is problem for unions, and that is just a reality. >> it is also reality that some of that manufacturing is coming back, and not because of low wages. because of transportation costs, innovation, all kinds of things. what bothers me about this vote is that it was bought and paid for by a few wealthy people. the leader of the senate, the governor, both on record not
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want to do this initially . they did it turn around. and lost five seats and the legislature. >> you can look for all the conspiracy's you want. the fact is that michigan was adjusting to exactly the reality that evan is talking about, globalization. i think was glory days for the unions 94 is, 1950's, 1960's, when the rest of the world was devastated by the second world war, we had a monopoly and, yes, great benefits to it the problem is that when you have global competition, you are uncompetitive. detroit went bankrupt but the southern transplants did not. here is the tragic choice. in the right to work states, wages are 10% lower. unemployment is also 10% lower. here is your choice -- workers
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making more, but a lot more unemployed, or he spread the jobs and wealth around. that is the choice michigan has made and i don think it is and a rational choice. indiana was the first to go to right to work and is attracting opportunities. michigan wants to get into that game. >> indiana has fewer jobs today than it had want. evan and charles are talking this historical determinism, the race to the bottom. the only way to compete is if we somehow doubt wages and working conditions for americans, american workers and american families, comparable to those ring.bai engagiand aysha >> did the unions carry the seeds of their own destruction? >> of course they do, but we don't have union shops any more.
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the union hired and the union fired. that is not the case. employers who hire and employers to fire. unions have become far more flexible. sure, they had made mistakes, but to throw them out -- >> if this were a true choice, it would not in the structures so that there cannot be a ballot initiative. >> but let's be clear -- >> they saw what happened in ohio, and only people exempted are the police and firemen. they are the best paid public employees around. >> but despite the propaganda, this was not a vote to shut down, or, as mark said, throw out the unions. allows the worker and a in a factory to decide. in a free society, you expect someone to be able to choose. >> beyond expectation, beyond
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our dreams. exciting to see everybody out of seattle and washington, thank you. >> sunday in seattle was the first day that gay people could marry in washington state. the supreme court will take up the issue. which way will they go? >> striking down the federal law, defense of ameritech, saying that we don't recognize -- defense of marriage act, saying we don't recognize marriage and it is it, but i cannot imagine the courts saying to mrs. be that you are going to have to marry -- courts saying to mrs. to be that you have to marry same-sex couples. conservatives worry that is their last shot at this, that what it much harder to invalidate -- >> you can see where this train
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is going. there is going to be gay marriage in the united states. >> we have not had such a rapid change on social is used as on this issue of what the court should not do is do what it did on abortion, get in the way by imposing its will. let this happen through the legislatures. >> "the supreme court follows election returns, and if that is the case, you'll see a sea change in a marriage, because it is growing acceptance -- . >> but not from the court. >> let me have a word on the joel allbritton,o the founder of the company that
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produces this show. the family statement speaks of them as, first and foremost, a beloved and loyal husband, grandfather, and friend. "joe's life was a one of great achievement. he was fiercely passionate and unfailingly generous." >> "inside washington" is brought you in part by the american federation of government employees, proud to make america work. for more information about afge and membership, visit
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